HOG Convention attracts thousands to Lafayette

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Some 5,000 people mostly on two wheels are expected to travel through Lafayette. They're headed to the Cajundome Convention Center for the Harley-Davidson Convention from April 3 – April 5. The convention jump-starts the Harley Owners Group (HOG) 2014 rally season.
 
The 3-day convention is for HOG members and invited guests. Harley-Davidson Regional Manager, Valerie Ledterman explains even though it's a closed event, the economic impact is in the open. “We are the Harley Davidson family.  We're loyal customers and we love to ride our Harley Davidson's.  We get together in nearly every state across the country every year,” says Ledterman.
 
Cajundome Convention Center Director Greg Davis says according to the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Bureau, the expected economic impact is in the path of about $5 million. “They're out and about in the community. Eating at our restaurants. Staying in our hotels. It's substantial impact,” says Davis.
    
Convention vendor, Jim Shockley follows the convention from state to state selling patches. Shockley has about 3,000 different styles with six to a dozen of each style. “We travel all over Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma,  We go up to Branson, Missouri; make a big circle coming around Wyoming, Utah,” says Shockley.
 
Shockley explains the first weekend in November just about wraps up the rally season. He says HOG members and friends meet up one last time in Galveston Island, Texas. “In fact, I rode from Dallas yesterday and from here I'm headed to Central Florida and back to Alabama and then to South Florida,” adds Ledterman.

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